The U.S. government took action this week to limit Hungarian citizens’ access to the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) due to security concerns over passports issued from 2011 to 2020.

Key Points:

  • Authorities reduced Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) validity from two years to one year for Hungarian nationals.
  • Instead of allowing multiple entries under the VWP, ESTAs for Hungarian citizens will be valid for only one entry to the United States.
  • The action was taken in response to ongoing concerns about the security of Hungarian passports issued from 2011 to 2020, which were issued “without stringent identity verification mechanisms in place,” according to David Pressman, U.S. Ambassador to Hungary, in an interview with Politico.
  • The change applies to all Hungarian passport holders, not just those with passports issued from 2011 to 2020.

Background: U.S. officials have been working with Hungary for years to address concerns about passport security, but said they took the unprecedented action to curtail VWP access due to Hungarian inaction on the matter.

‌This alert has been provided by BAL U.S. Practice Group. For additional information, please contact

Copyright © 2023 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries, please contact